Remembering Patricia Telles-Irvin, a national leader in student affairs


On Tuesday, June 4, President Mark B. Rosenberg sent the following message to the university community:

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that our FIU family has lost one of our own. Patricia Telles-Irvin passed away on Monday, after a years-long battle with cancer. I had an opportunity to visit with her recently. True to her nature, she was strong, hopeful and comforting until the end.

Many of you will remember her as the caring and charismatic senior vice president for student affairs and human resources, the last position she held before she went on to leadership positions at the University of Florida in 2004 and more recently at Northwestern University. She joined the FIU family in 1993 as a psychologist. She quickly became director of FIU’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center, and served as assistant and then associate vice president for student affairs in the late 1990s. She then went on to lead the division of Student Affairs.

Dr. Telles-Irvin was a mentor, a trailblazer and a great advocate for students at FIU. She was the first Hispanic to serve as president of NASPA, the leading national association for student affairs professionals. She had a bachelor’s degree in education from Duke University and a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University.

Our deepest condolences go to her family, especially husband Don, son Daniel and his baby daughter born last week.

Our world and our FIU are better places because of Patricia. Her love for our community and her belief in the goodness of humanity are just two of the many gifts that we will miss.